Museum of Knowledge blog, Benefits learning French 10112017

What are the advantages of learning French?

French is an important business language spoken widely in Europe, Africa, Canada and the Caribbean and the Museum of Knowledge enables students to embark on their journey to undertake online French language courses for intermediate and advanced levels thanks to the museum’s content driven modules.

There are many reasons why language learners choose to learn a language and in particular French. Students may need to learn French for their studies or they may require good linguistic skills for commerce. Whatever the reason, the ability to speak, read, write and listen in French is a highly useful skill to obtain.

As the French language is spoken in so many diverse parts of the world, language learners can benefit from its usage across various international frontiers. It is important to note that each region has a slightly different dialect or accent and one of the benefits of learning French with the Museum of Knowledge is the museum’s ability to address dialogue differences across the varying regions of the world where French is spoken.



Language Show Live 2017, Museum of Knowledge Robot Teacher blog 17112017

Artificial Intelligence impacts education; Here come the Robot Teachers

The @MOKKnowledge Founder and CEO presented her thoughts on Robot Teachers, Universal Credit and the Impact of Artificial Intelligence on the Teaching Profession at the 2017 Language Show exhibition, held on 13th October 2017 at the Business Design Centre, Islington. Due to popular demand the blog that first appeared on the Language Show website is now available on the Museum of Knowledge website.

Does Disruptive Technology Impact Education in a Positive Way?

With a greater emphasis on technology across sectors, the focus of the Museum of Knowledge is to explore how technology affects the educational sector and in particular we examine its social impact. Innovative language learning is at the heart of the Museum of Knowledge as is the use of organic technology. Organic technology is defined by the Museum of Knowledge as follows; the deployment of technology that enables predominantly human control.

Organic Technology: The Museum of Knowledge ethos

The Museum of Knowledge believes in organic technology with diversification in the workforce a must. The company’s philosophy centres around the usage of technology aimed at enhancing the work of a human workforce and not to control this workforce predominantly via an aggressive technology strategy. This also ties into our socially aware ethos. The museum’s team is creating technology solutions for a tightly defined consumer base. As an organic technology company, the platform aims to support local working communities around the world in the creative services industry as defined by the DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) and luxury hospitality and technology brands.

The Museum of Knowledge explores robust solutions for language learning and education as a whole but the usage of disruptive technology is limited to organic technology. This is because the museum’s team of researchers believes that we should not work in isolation to dethrone competitors. The Museum of Knowledge is a private museum dedicated to language excellence.

Robot Teachers to replace conventional Teachers within ten years

Is the “Eton or Wellington style for all educational methodology upon us? Sir Anthony Seldon, the Vice Chancellor of Buckingham University declared in August 2017 in the Daily Telegraph that Robot Teachers will replace conventional teachers “within ten years.”

Grouping students by year in a personalised fashion is said to be one of the key benefits of Robot Teachers with this machine learning technique thought to enable “Robot Teachers to learn to read the brains and facial expressions of students to whom they will be able to seamlessly adapt.”

The discipline of Robot Teachers that will never tire, never require a promotion or pay rise, never require training inductions nor the rigours of undertaking a one-year PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate of Education) course is undeniable. Simple programming of Robot Teachers that will control the educational landscape is all that will be needed via artificial intelligence. This dominant machine learning mechanism would in turn cause the demotion of traditional teachers to mere classroom assistants.

The Rise of the Robot Teacher: The Implementation of machine learning

Current programming capabilities of Robot Teachers are geared towards Mathematics and Science with Humanities-specific Robot Teachers following thereafter.” The implementation of machine learning for language learning may be applied across several languages with a focus on language learning techniques and the development of key disciplines such as reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.

The key questions traditional educational institutions should be asking are;

  • Is there a need for Robot Teachers in the parameters of learning a language?
  • Can Robot Teachers add real value in the classroom and will they be welcome amongst traditional teachers as well as pupils?
  • What is the primary objective of implementing Robot Teachers into schools and across disciplines such as language learning?

From the perspective of the technology industry the plan is to use Robot Teachers primarily to meet the following objectives;

  • To address absenteeism, vacation time and sickness payments that educational institutions have to pay out to conventional teachers.
  • To address complaints made by teachers with regards to their general levels of fatigue.
  • To automate key roles within teaching such as marking and the identification of special-needs students.
  • To automate repetitive roles in teaching such as the preparation of lesson plans and other instructions.

Artificial Intelligence: Closing the social mobility gap

Artificial intelligence for the educational sector also aims to address the needs of students according to their ethnicity with Robot Teachers adapted to convert script into the student’s accent or local dialect.”

Meeting the needs of diverse communities is said to be one of the biggest challenges within the educational sector whereby diverse student types cannot be properly taught by a solo teacher who will not have an in depth understanding of students from various ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. Robot Teachers are also said to be more objective than conventional teachers who may be tempted to exercise biased behaviour in relation to decisions affecting a student’s potential and progress with these biases based on a student’s social class, gender or ethnicity.

  • Will Robot Teachers democratize and assist in closing the social mobility gap?
  • Are conventional teachers failing students and are conventional schools failing to adequately close the social mobility gap and if so, how?

The merits of Robot Teachers: Cause and effect

The issue of Robot Teachers and their merits of course raises ethical questions regarding classroom structures, the role of a traditional teacher and the extent to which teachers are prepared to adapt. Robot Teachers are also being introduced to adapt learning materials to the needs of individual students through machine learning interactivity. So here we will examine in our exclusive Language Show Live 2017 presentation the following issues;

  • Who really benefits from artificial intelligence within the educational sector?
  • Can the fragile educational eco system support a new market that could be potentially flooded with Robot Teachers?
  • Does the existence of Robot Teachers support the notion of Employee Replacement theories?
  • Will students learning a language benefit from Robot Teachers and if so how?
  • Does the school, department or learning institution dedicated to language learning as a whole benefit from Robot Teachers?
  • Is it time to admit honestly that the primary benefactor of Artificial Intelligence in education will be the billion dollar funded technology companies and their investors or will its adoption really present positive benefits for the industry, linguists and those students who undertake language learning modules?
  • How will Robot Teachers affect jobs and salaries of the mainstream linguistic educational sector and how will the arrival of Robot Teachers impact society as a whole?
  • What are the ethical considerations and boundaries that must be considered if Robot Teachers are introduced into schools and departments dedicated to language learning?
  • Can Robot Teachers be used to instil British values, French values or even Spanish values into students that current schools are unable to do via traditional teaching methods?

Embracing Language Learning for Business after Brexit: @MOKKnowledge Seminar

These questions and many others were addressed exclusively at the Museum of Knowledge, Language Show Live seminar at the Business Design Centre, Islington on 13th October 2017 at 16h00. The Museum of Knowledge Embracing Language Learning for Business after Brexit“ seminar including Q & A session took place in Room 3 at the Language Show London Exhibition 2017, Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 0QH.

The @MOKKnowledge Founder and CEO presented her thoughts on this exciting topic and embracing all opinions during our live Q&A session and debate. For those who were not able to attend, the Museum of Knowledge will publish thought leadership extracts of the presentation insights on the Museum of Knowledge site.

Source: Sir Anthony Seldon and Eton or Wellington style for all references, Daily Telegraph “Inspirational” robots to replace teachers within 10 years, 11th September 2017, Henry Bodkin


Spanish Competency, Museum of Knowledge, Language Show Live 2017 blog, 10112017

Do business leaders need to speak Spanish in Marbella, Spain?

Gaining Spanish competency for Business

Never has it been more important than now to learn a language for business and to communicate the benefits of products and services in the native tongue of a potential client. With an ever more global business landscape, students, teachers, linguists and policy makers can take advantage of robust tools and techniques that promote vocational language learning. The Museum of Knowledge has researched best practice for language learning for students and business professionals via e-learning that puts users in the best possible position to perfect their skills and reach a high level of competency in the language they are learning. In the case of Spanish, the Museum of Knowledge team explores the challenges presented when doing business in Spain and in particular Marbella. More specifically, we explore whether speaking Spanish in a region that has a highly dominant English speaking population is necessary.

Business Infrastructure Projects in Marbella, Spain

With more and more investment arriving to the Southern coastline of Spain, the region is enjoying revitalised energy in various business sectors. One such investment includes the December 2016 Hong Kong Investment Fund announcement of its acquisition of 170,000 square metres of land near Elvira and its intention to invest EUR 300 million to develop a five-star luxury hotel and 120 villas. The EUR 300 million Hong Kong Investment Fund project is intended to be “the most luxurious resort in the country.” This Southern Spanish coastal region of Elvira already boasts three of the finest golf courses with spectacular views of Gibraltar and the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Located in Elvira Hills, first class golf courses include the Santa Maria Golf & Country Club, Greenlife Golf Club and El Soto Golf & Country Club. Three renown luxury 5* hotels in Marbella include the Marriott’s Marbella Beach Resort, Don Carlos Leisure Resort & Spa, and Vincci Seleccion Estrella del Mar. With a high propensity of English speaking leisure and business visitors, the Museum of Knowledge team explores whether speaking Spanish in Marbella, Spain whilst on business facilitates negotiations.

Business Development in Marbella, Spain

Marbella, Spain is known as the city of fun and frolics or even the Spanish coastal city that enjoys a plethora of wealth and luxury for those looking for a second home or holiday home. Popular with British tourists Marbella is now becoming increasingly popular with both British and Scandinavian business owners due to its proximity to the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe, its strong infrastructure of Britishness and Western culture as well as its mild climate. Typically businesses set up by British and other European business owners found in the region and surrounding areas including Estepona comprise of technology start ups, real estate agents, hotels, golf and holiday resort developers, restaurant owners, bar owners and language schools.

The Parque Tecnológico de Andalucía (Andalusia Technology Park) founded in 1992 and further up the coast from Marbella in Campanilla, Malaga has so far enjoyed a EUR 603 million investment. In total, the Andalusian Technology Park, celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2017 hosts in excess of 600 businesses and almost 17,000 employees. Multinationals registered from 2015 to 2017 and already located at the Andalusia Technology Park include Huawei, Ericsson, IBM, Accenture, some smaller start-ups and various research and development firms.

There are six key considerations regular business travellers need to bear in mind when travelling to or doing business in Marbella, Spain. These are fairly unique considerations that make Marbella stand apart from other coastal cities in the world such as Miami and others. Here follows some key factors that will assist business owners with their travel plans and preparation for Spanish language competency and how to overcome some local challenges.

Transportation in Marbella, Spain, must visitors speak Spanish?

For its location and popularity both with tourists and now increasingly, businesses, and with the exception of direct transfers to some luxury hotel resorts, travelling around Marbella is one of the biggest challenges business owners will face. Travel from A to B, from Malaga airport to Marbella is best executed with some knowledge of Spanish. Speaking Spanish will be highly beneficial not only to enable business visitors to integrate into Spain but also to understand the huge varying prices available when travelling around Andalusia. It is far easier to extract this information from the Spanish speaking community in Spanish rather than speaking in slow paced English.

Of course business travellers may enjoy a generous company expenses account, enabling them to catch taxis wherever they go, but it is without doubt that the travel allowance and travel expenses account in Marbella, Spain compared to other cities in the world will be at its very highest. Short taxi journeys will cost around EUR 10, transfers from the central bus station to Puerto Banus or to the Centro Plaza shopping centre and business district will cost up to EUR 20, and the lack of a regular bus service makes relying on public transport for frequent mobility around Marbella difficult.

Business travellers in Marbella therefore will need to decide how much of their ready cash they are prepared to consistently outlay on transportation via taxi even with or without a corporate expenses account vis-à-vis other priority expenditure due to its cost, as a typical taxi bill for transfers to restaurants or meetings could easily run into EUR 70 to 100 PER DAY. If this is the choice, speaking Spanish and having a good idea in advance of the key destinations of interest will be helpful whilst instructing your driver. For any travel in the Marbella area a hire car is therefore highly recommended or alternatively a private driver who you can call upon a few times during the day for a set daily fee is also a possible option. If hiring a car, be careful of the fees. It may seem like a good idea to start with but you may find that you have more control of costs with a privately hired driver.

This service sector dependent Province of Malaga offers a stimulus of 60% of the local economy. Marbella as the most populous municipality in the Iberian Peninsula currently has no railway station that is much needed. For the only Spanish city with in excess of 100,000 inhabitants not to be served by rail seems incredible and for sure this region would benefit from this essential infrastructure project that would assist with mobility from Malaga to Marbella and Fuengirola to Marbella and the surrounding areas.

An infrastructure project is underway for the construction of the Corridor of the Costa del Sol rail system to connect Nerja, Málaga and Algeciras, however the project has been delayed for a number of years and there seems no end in sight for an actual completion date. Should the project go ahead it might possibly include a high speed railway, For the moment a car hire service is the only option available as Marbella’s closest station is as of 2017 Fuengirola, 27 km (17 miles) away or Málaga Maria Zambrano, in Málaga city, 57 km (35 miles) away.

Banking in Marbella, Spain, opening a bank account in Spanish

Knowledge of Spanish is essential when deciding to open a bank account in Spain (abrir una cuenta bancaria). It eases transactions and improves understanding of bank charges, terms and conditions and importantly bank opening times and permitted transactions that differ depending on the time of the year or the time of day! Unlike the UK, there are considerable differences between the various banks in Spain with one of the greatest differences being bank fees that are some of the highest in Europe. Business travellers must bear in mind that the majority of banks in Spain are shut from 14h00 Monday to Friday and they do not open on Saturdays and Sundays.

In the United Kingdom, most high street banks would score 8 points out of ten in terms of similarity with maybe 2 factors out of 10 identified as a clear service or brand differentiation. In Spain it is the complete opposite. There are huge differences between banks 80% of the service offering is completely different from one bank to another with only 20% of the service of each bank enjoying a level of similarity. Also key to remember, unlike the banks in the United Kingdom where there are agreements between banks that enable customers to withdraw money without charge, this is not possible in Spain. Agreements between national Spanish banks are often broken and at the time of writing, there is no such agreement meaning that if a customer withdraws money in Spain at a bank that is different to where the account and bank card is held, high bank and card transaction fees will apply.

For these reasons it is essential that prospective customers visit at least eight high street Spanish banks as Spanish banks are really all so different from one another with as mentioned earlier only 20% of the service offering some sort of similarity. Speaking Spanish for banking is imperative. Of course many business travellers may open a bank account and speak English with a Spanish banking adviser also speaking in English. It is however simply far easier to grasp the complexity of banking in Spain and understand what is on offer and what type of service you can more easily adjust to if you speak in Spanish. You will be able to extract far more quickly and precisely more comprehensive information regarding bank terms and fees if you speak Spanish and can understand the banking literature that will for the most part be written in Spanish.

Another point, be prepared for paperwork. Spanish banks love “justificantes.” They need proof of everything

Gastronomy in Marbella, Spain, ordering food and drinks in Spanish

For Business travellers, haute cuisine and fine dining is at a price in the Marbella region. Business travellers can bask in the glory of casual dining experiences in open air restaurants or they may consider a more formal setting. In all cases the ease of ordering especially before business clients is best carried out in Spanish. Accurate menu orders can best be delivered in Spanish.

The Piucaro Restaurant, located in Puerto José Banus, delivers an airy, relaxing setting to an international (85%) clientele with the vast majority of these travellers being British. Scandinavian visitors account for the second largest number of visitors followed by the Netherlands and Belgium. A lively restaurant with open terraces and a variety of exciting cocktails such as the Vanilla Boom and a range of Piu Caro cocktails, the Piucaro Restaurant also encourages guests to attend for long breakfast sessions or meriendas (afternoon tea). Order in Spanish for the swiftest hospitality.

Business travellers should be sure to book a Piucaro Restaurant table with spectacular sea views of Gibraltar and Africa in sight, suitable for large parties of 10 or more. The Museum of Knowledge team would describe the Piucaro Restaurant as suitable for casual business dining or lunch. Business travellers dining at the Piucaro Restaurant should expect to pay typically EUR 50 per head for a comprehensive three-course meal excluding taxes, service charge, wine and beverages. The restaurant chef’s choice menu is rich in selection and easy on the palette and business travellers seeking a wide range of good quality continental gastronomy including risotto dishes, elegant pasta dishes, fish, meat, appetizers, wraps, a range of salads and homely desserts that are well presented will not be disappointed. The restaurant’s extensive wine list includes a variety of sangrias including champagne sangrias, red wines, rosé wines, white wines and sparkling wines, that are all fairly priced.

For more exclusive, spacious dining in Marbella, also suitable for large groups, the Museum of Knowledge recommends business travellers select 5* luxury hotels and private member only golf resorts such as the Aloha Golf Club, Marbella. This more private setting will enable you to make contact with the resort staff in Spanish and build up rapport once again in Spanish to ensure the ultimate service especially when entertaining important guests.

The Aloha Golf Club House Restaurant provides its guests with the ultimate level of privacy and calm for business dining giving business travellers who are developing their Spanish language skills the opportunity to practice Spanish and gain confidence in a quieter setting. The use of mobile phones is strictly prohibited in the Aloha Golf Club House Restaurant and smart business attire is recommended for dining. Business travellers of the Aloha Golf Club should expect to pay typically EUR 80-100 per head for a three-course meal excluding taxes, service charge, wine and beverages.

Accommodation in Marbella, Spain, negotiating in Spanish

Being away from home means that creature comforts are so very important to expats and business travellers alike. Marbella is one of the best parts of Spain for high quality, airy accommodation however prices can be very high indeed. Many British expats may go straight to a British real estate agency but often you will have to be prepared to pay a very high cost for this.

Of course for short business trips, business travellers have an array of choice of five star luxury hotels in Marbella or if preferred, luxury apartments and villas including swimming pools that is highly recommended for the Summer and warmer months from June-October.

Speaking Spanish is essential for real estate transactions even for the purpose of rentals. A good quality/ luxury two bedroom rented apartment with garage, terrace and two bathrooms in or around the Marbella area will set you back around EUR 2,500 monthly but this tally will be lower if you choose a local Spanish real estate agency but for this to work, speaking and negotiating in Spanish is essential and will instil confidence with your realtor. Prices also vary according to the season. You may find prices over EUR 3,000 monthly if you are looking between July and August. It is advisable to identify a good realtor prior to peak season and communicate your budget so it may be secured before higher priced properties come onto the market.

You will know who the legitimate realtors are in Marbella, Spain and once again speaking in Spanish will enable you to identify whom to trust and from whom you can acquire luxury rentals that suit your needs. Ensure for this price, your apartment is secure, fully furnished to a high standard with designer furniture and air conditioning and that the apartment enjoys a fully fitted American kitchen including dishwasher, utility room, luxury marbled bathrooms with rainforest showers (possibly with one ensuite), a sea view, elevator, and intercom system.

Internet and phone charges in Marbella, Spain, speak Spanish to get the best deal

Mobile phone charges in Spain are some of the highest imaginable in Europe and every network operator’s costs and service plans vary to such a high degree it can be confusing to make a choice. The biggest confusion is trying to understand why the mobile phone and internet costs in Spain are so high! If you require a mobile phone package we highly recommend you shop around. It is not unheard of to only have options for mobile phone packages that are EUR 40 as a minimum without internet. The Museum of Knowledge team recommends that you buy a ready to use SIM free mobile phone in advance so that when in Spain you only have to worry about buying a SIM card. Once again speaking Spanish and asking the right questions is the easiest way to get the best mobile phone tariff, but in case you do not I am giving you all a heads up short cut solution for those who just want national calling to mobiles and landlines within Spain with no frills. SIMYO.

Simyo is a German mobile phone network operator that offers great tariffs and a good service in Spain. You need to look hard to find them though so the Museum of Knowledge team would suggest looking out for their posters in any Jazztel mobile phone shop. Remember for all customer services enquiries with Simyo Spain, speaking Spanish is essential but at least you have the job half done as I have identified the mobile phone operator of choice! One more thing, be careful with mobile phone advertisements in Spain. It is fine to collect and examine posters, leaflets, prices and deals but read the terms and conditions and all small print very carefully. What you read in leaflets is not always the case that is why most importantly, whatever the mobile phone television, poster, leaflets and press advertisements in Spain proclaim, you will still need to preferably go into a Jazztel store to sign up. Why you may ask? Because you can go over every aspect of the leaflets and check that the content in the leaflet is indeed the offer. The only way to do this is to speak Spanish face to face with a Jazztel sales advisor and have a serious discussion about mobile phone tariffs (tarifas).

For internet access in Spain, this is a wholly complicated affair and for business travellers who may be travelling to other parts of Europe or the world on a regular basis or who may only be renting as opposed to buying a property, we would suggest sharing your internet with a neighbour. The reason for is clear; Internet services in Spain are very high.

Of course if you have budgeted for circa EUR 80 a month, you can buy into a long term contract including internet, cable and perhaps a mobile phone tariff. However, there will also be various additional fees including connection costs and other logistics to consider. If you choose the option to share with a neighbour, simply switch on your wifi and use their logged Pass Key code to access the service. A standard solo internet service can be as much as EUR 50 a month, so paying EUR 20 or EUR 25 a month for shared internet access with your neighbour is acceptable. Simply ask your neighbour, “¿Tiene acceso al internet? ¿Compartimos?” (“Do you have internet access? Can we share?”)

Is speaking Spanish at Business Networking events in Marbella, Spain essential?

Marbella, Spain is known for its Western influence and high proportion of British business owners however there are many networking events and other opportunities for speak Spanish in luxury hotels that have an even more international audience and more local business involvement. Knowledge of Spanish to truly engage with the local Spanish community is essential especially in the case of Rotary Clubs in the region. There are circa three Rotary Clubs in the Marbella area so if you are a member of the Rotary Club London for example or any other Rotary Club in another major city in the world, it is worthwhile acquiring an introduction from your main Rotary Club so that you may also join one in Spain. Rotary Club meetings are held in luxury 5* hotels in Marbella and surrounding areas, some during the day and others in the evening. As the Rotary Clubs in Spain are attended by Spanish business people as well as English-speaking businesses people it is certainly beneficial to brush up on conversational networking business techniques and develop Spanish business speaking skills prior to engaging in such networking and business groups.

In conclusion, wherever you are in Spain, speaking Spanish is essential. Although many business people may attempt to survive speaking English, progression, building personal and business connections and ensuring accurate information flow is key to developing your negotiating skills in Spanish.



Museum Of Knowledge blog, Brush up Spanish 03112017

What is the best way of brushing up your Spanish?

Museum of Knowledge students can easily brush up their Spanish skills by taking one of the various online intermediate Spanish courses on offer. The Museum of Knowledge specializes in intermediate and advanced language courses and so would suggest that a student who wishes to improve their Spanish starts with the many online intermediate Spanish courses the museum has on offer.

The Museum of Knowledge always suggests that students start from the beginning to develop their skills. The Personal introductions module for example is an excellent starter module offered to Spanish language learners. This first and intermediate language module gives Spanish language learners the opportunity to perfect and fully understand the key assets required to communicate both formally and informally. Personal communications that enable students to express themselves with ease include greetings, discussions about hobbies and professions and introducing family members.

The core topics offered in Museum of Knowledge intermediate Spanish language courses offer a fantastic starting point for anyone wanting to brush up their Spanish. Good structure is the key to success when learning a language, as is detailed and relevant content. Once these key features are prevalent in Spanish language courses, students will make good progress and will be able to develop their Spanish language skills to the highest of levels.